PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (5): 743-754.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.05.006

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Urban expansion and its driving mechanism in China:From three main shools' perspectives

GAO Jinlong1,2, CHEN Jianglong1, SU Xi1,2   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2012-09-01 Revised:2013-03-01 Online:2013-05-25 Published:2013-05-25

Abstract: As the largest developing country in the world, China is facing the most challenging situation in its urban land use. The study of urban expansion is becoming the focus of attention in the academic community as the problems of urban expansion are becoming increasingly prominent. After summarizing the studies on the speed and scale, mode and type, and the evolution of urban spatial structures in China, we first reviewed the driving mechanism of cities' expansion from economic, institutional and empirical perspectives, and then gave a brief overview of the characteristics and limitations of the studies in each school.We concluded that Chinese urban expansion clearly has stage, regional and hierarchical characteristics. In other words, the cities of different levels, in the different regions and at different stages of development are showing different trends of expansion, so are the expansion mechanisms. Therefore, the follow-up study on urban expansion in China should focus on both current stage and long time range of the representative cases, use comprehensive data and integrated approaches, combine different schools of thought, and conduct more comprehensive and scientific researches on urban expansion in China.

Key words: China, driving mechanism, situation, urban expansion